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Rajon Rondo may have scored 30 points, but it was Kevin Garnett who stole the show. Garnett sank the game winning shot with 14 seconds left to give the Celtics a 96-93 victory and give the Celtics the 2-0 series lead.
Rajon Rondo got off to a hot start, as he scored 14 of the Celtics’ first 18 points. The Knicks then countered with a run of their own, as they scored the final eight points of the quarter to cut the lead to 23-21.
The second quarter was a back and forth battle as neither team ever led by more than three points. With just one second remaining, Glen Davis fouled Shawne Williams, and Williams hit both free throws to give the Knicks the 45-44 halftime lead.
The second half was much of the same, as neither team was able to separate themselves from the other. Tied with the Knicks at 59 apiece, the Celtics then made their run. Paul Pierce scored seven points, Ray Allen and Jeff Green hit 3-pointers and the Celtics pushed the lead to 74-63 with under a minute remaining in the third quarter.
The Knicks however would not go down without a fight. Carmelo Anthony scored their first seven points, to cut the lead to 76-74. At that point, Anthony scored 13 straight points and 18 of the team’s previous 20 points. The Knicks then tied the game at 76 on a Ronny Turiaf layup. For the next five minutes, the teams were deadlocked until an Anthony three with 2:36 remaining gave the Knicks a 91-88 lead.
The Celtics then called a timeout after a Jared Jeffries layup put the Knicks up 93-92 with 20 seconds. The ball then went to Kevin Garnett, who backed down Jeffries. Garnett then went over his left shoulder and with 14 seconds left, hitting the floater to give the Celtics a 94-93 lead.
The Knicks then came down the court and got the ball to Anthony, who was doubled in the corner by Pierce and Davis. Anthony passed the ball to Jeffries, but Garnett was able to steal the ball and call timeout with four seconds left. The Knicks then had trouble fouling Delonte West, who finally went to the line with .6 seconds left. He hit both free throws to seal the deal.
Carmelo Anthony had to do everything for the Knicks because they were without Amare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups. Anthony finished with a game high 42 points and also had 17 rebounds and six assists.
For the Celtics, Rajon Rondo led the way. Rondo finished the game with 30 points and also had seven assists. Paul Pierce finished the game with 20 points and Ray Allen chipped in 18.
The Knicks have not won a playoff series since 2000. They are 0-3 in series since beating the Miami Heat in the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics will look to take a decisive 3-0 series lead Friday night when they head to Madison Square Garden.